It's Thursday and Hannah and I are having a tough time staying focussed and on track knowing that tomorrow everyone arrives in New York. Wouldn't you know it, Hannah has an appointment with both Doctors at 8:30 am so we won't actually see everyone until we get home around 10:30. Hopefully, the troops will have got to the house safe and sound and will have had a couple more hours of sleep before Hannah and I explode into the room. Poor Zach, he'll have the hardest time with this. His sleep patterns are so twisted without staying up all night and flying across three time zones. Maybe he'll fair best of all as the time change for him may just put him back into a reasonable bedtime/wake up time. Or maybe I'm just naive.
One of the parents here at the house let me know that there is a limo service that will pick families up at the airport and bring them here to the house for free if they have a car available. I called and they are able to make the trip so Judy won't have to figure out how she and the kids are going to get from JFK to Ronald McDonald House when it is 4 am her time.
Hannah has had two days without any doctor's appointments. I think it has done her a world of good to just stay at home, do her one hour of school work and play. Hannah's teacher is a lovely lady named Deb. She teaches middle school here in Manhattan and comes three times per week to tutor Hannah and one of the other children at the house. She tells me every day how keen a learner Hannah is and how hard she is working at learning how to read. I am so thankful to Mrs Harvey, Hannah's grade one teacher at home, as she put together a large package of work for Hannah to do while she is here. It has come in really handy. Great job Mrs Harvey!!!
I met with the New York Giants event coordinator today and he confirmed that they would like me to make a short speech at the Oct 20th event. Short, ha, that will be a real challenge for me. I will have to stick closely to my prepared material otherwise I may ramble on about what a really awesome place Ronald McDonald House is. To boot, Eli Manning and about 20 of the super bowl team will be at the gala and I will receive an autographed football as a gift. I am so excited. Hannah, ya well it will be just another place where daddy tells a story to a large group of people. At times she is really interested in participating and others, not so much. There will be 10 other families at the event and I hope that Hannah has fun with the kids who are there. I know my brother will be excited to hear of this event as he has being a NY Giants fan for years, hehehe, I get to meet them. Unfortunately, I won't be here the for their next home game, but maybe when we come back in December they will have a home game that I can go and see.
Today saw the departure of Hannah's latest New York best friend, Katherine. She and her mom headed back to Albania this morning. It is kinda strange getting to know people so quickly and in some ways intimately one day and then two weeks later they head back to their home and we will likely never see them again. We get to know a part of their story that is so fantastically complex and then it stops. It will take some time for me to consider how I hold their stories as they are important to me and at the same time hold them lightly so as not to burden them with my need to know how the story progresses. Many of these kids will be back and forth to New York as many have cancers that relapse 3, 4 and 5 times before it is finally eradicated or there is nothing more that can be done and they go home while their disease runs its course and they die. It is so unreal and yet I am thankful to be here. The kids and families that I have met are really incredible. They are living life to the fullest and not looking back. They have hope, and I am thankful for that. Many of the families I have got to know live a life of faith and so I pray that hope in Christ brings them through this experience regardless of the outcome.
For those readers who have taken an interest in Hannah's diet, she continues to eat mac and cheese fortified with protein powder twice a day. She is eating strawberries, grapes and little tomatoes two or three times a day and today said she liked some of the sliced turkey I brought home from the deli. We tried some cucumber the day before yesterday, but she couldn't bite it into manageable pieces so we have given up on it for a while. She can also manage pancakes and waffles so we are rotating through those on a daily basis. I would prefer she ate hot cereal in the morning, but she gets to choose.
The next two weeks should go by quickly. We have the family here until late Tuesday night and then Kathleen, Judy's sister, arrives for a few days. When they have all gone home, we should have less than a week before we head home ourselves.
Well its tea time in New York and I'll sign today's entry off.
Hannah and John